Chris Matthews laid into former GE CEO Jack Welch on Friday’s “Hardball” forbaselessly suggesting that the latest unemployment figures had been manipulated by the Obama campaign.
Welch tweeted on Friday morning, “Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers.” Following an outcry, he went on a mini-media tour to defend his comment. Matthews, who worked for GE for many years as an NBC employee, had a very lively exchange with his former top boss.
“It must be embarrassing for you to do a tweet now with the power you once had,” Matthews said. “…What evidence do you have that they got to the [Bureau of Labor Statistics]?”
“I have no evidence to prove that, I just raised the question,” Welch said.
“No, you didn’t raise the question,” Matthews said. You were asserting … did you talk to any economists?”
“I know that these numbers are gathered by a series of wild assumptions,” Welch insisted.
“Do you want to take that back?” Matthews asked a little later. “This is an assertion that there was jimmying with these numbers.” When Welch started to laugh, he snapped, “It’s not funny, Jack!”
“Chris, don’t lose it,” Welch said. “I’m not losing it,” Matthews replied.
Welch said he didn’t want to take back “a single word” of his tweet.